Getting Sick and Coming Back

Right in the middle of training for the Colfax Half Marathon, I got sick. My training had been going very well, and I could feel myself getting stronger. Then...wham! I get the flu. And if that wasn't bad enough...I had a relapse and was bed ridden for two days. All in all, I was sick for two weeks.

If you look at the graph below of my training log, you can see fairly consistent mileage until that gap right in the middle. That's when I got sick.

I did not run for two weeks. And then I took two more weeks of gradually easing back into my regular mileage. Essentially, I lost four weeks of training.

Lessons Learned

Some good did come out of this black hole.  I learned that:
  1. This was just my body's way of saying I needed to rest. I was training pretty hard, and I think I needed the rest. Recovery is as important in training as the hard workouts.
  2. I could recover fairly quickly, if I ease back into training slowly. On my first run after two weeks of being sick, I walked much of the four miler. If I ran for too long, I started to I walked. The next day, I walked less. And so on. I told myself that I would ease back in slowly, and I stuck to that. In two weeks, I was back on track and strong as ever.
  3. My bias towards rest works to help me be more consistent in my training. My philosophy during this training cycle was run today, so I could run tomorrow.  Meaning that I should not over do it on any given day so that I could not run the next day. Consistency in training is the most important thing in training.
Looking back on that four weeks, it does not even seem like a blink. But during that period it seemed like an eternity. However, looking at the big picture, these downtimes can be over come to the benefit of the longer term goal which is simply to be a consistent runner. 

Next time I get sick or injured, I will better understand what to do to come out of it stronger than ever.